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Tags neil degrasse tyson , tam 6

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Old 10th July 2017, 07:58 AM   #1
HopDavid
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Neil deGrasse Tyson -- a liability

Tyson is a B.S. artist. Not as influential as Trump but a B.S. artist regardless. Both Trump and Tyson rose to prominence on the wave of an ignorant populace that values entertainment over rigor and accuracy.

Fareed Zakaria talks about Trump as a B.S. artist. Zakaria quotes Harry Frankfort: “Focus is panoramic rather than particular... with more spacious opportunities for improvisation, color and imaginative play. This is less a matter of craft than of art. Hence the familiar notion of the ”Bull **** artist”. Later in the clip Fareed further quotes Frankfort: “Liars and truth tellers are acutely aware of facts and truth. The B.S. artist, however, has lost all connection with reality. By virture of this, bull **** is a greater enemy of truth than lies are.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson will study a topic with half his attention and then build a story around it. Which is usally entertaining but often wrong. I don’t believe it’s his intention to convey misinformatiom. It comes from combining his flamboyance with sloppy scholarship. And his fantasies are often colored by his preconceptions and prejudices.

What is telling is the acceptance of Tyson’s bull. Most of Tyso’s fans are self proclaimed skeptics. But if his misinformation seems to support their prejudices, they will swallow it without scrutiny. In their own way these self proclaimed skeptics are as credulous as Trump’s birthers.

Paying lip service to skepticism is not sufficient. A true skeptic must question all assumptions whether or not they find the message pleasing.

TAM6

The James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) used to hold an annual conference stylized as The Amazing Meeting or TAM for short. At TAM6 Tyson gave a presentation. I’ll look at different segments of this presentation.

Terminal Cancer

16 minutes 36 seconds into his presentation Tyson talks about terminal cancer. He argues surviving terminal cancer doesn’t demonstrate divine intervention. Which is fine.

But then he launches into a rant against idiot doctors, the American Medical Association and pre-med students.

The problem with this rant is Tyson’s ignorance on how a prognosis is delivered. A doctor doesn’t tell a patient “You got six months.” Rather a patient is given statistics. Does someone living longer than expected mean the three doctors were idiots? No. It demonstrates there are statistical outliers on a bell curve.

It is ... astonishing. Astonishing Tyson and the Physics 101 prof aren’t familiar with freshmen level statistics and probability. It is also astonishing that they think someone who flunked physics 101 would make it to med school. There are idiot physicists, I assure you.

Dr. Novella called Tyson out on this (scroll to Those Darn Physicists). Tyson’s response to Dr. Novella? Tyson writes:

Quote:
2) About my “idiot” doctors comment. The word is harsher than I had indended. i should have said “incompetent” instead.
and Tyson goes on to say:

Quote:
A further, more important point that I did not explicitly make, is that if the survival distribution for a diagnosis says something like what Dr. Novella gives above: e.g. 50% survive 6 months. 10 % survive 10 years, the medical profession is more likely to declare these data as “the” survival profile of the disease rather than as the consequence of deep ignorance to what is actually going on with a disease from one person to the next. Because if you actually understood the causes and effects of a disease as it interacts with different people, you would then be able to tell each person with precision when he or she will die. But you are not there yet. Provide the data (as you do) but then admit the ignorance rather than sweep it into the probability distribution of survival.
In just the same way weather forecasters say, “50% chance of rain tomorrow,” This of course means they have no clue at all whether it will rain, because if they did, the chance of rain would approach 0% or 100% and not sit anywhere in between.
Well, astrophysicists also resort to giving probabilities when data is incomplete. For example, the probability of asteroid impacts. Tyson likes to talk about the potential destruction of the asteroid Apophis. We can look at the history of Apophis impact estimates. In 2004 chances were in 1 in 233. In 2013 the possibility of a 2036 impact were ruled out. By Tyson’s lights the folks who came up with the 2004 estimate were incompetent idiots.

About Tyson’s TAM6 presentation Dr. Novella writes:

Quote:
Most recently at TAM6, Neil deGrasse Tyson gave an excellent skeptical lecture.
Except for the the part Dr. Novella didn’t like. Dr. Novella evidently wasn’t paying close attention to the rest of the lecture.

Two Thousand Milligrams of Cocaine

A little further into his TAM6 lecture Tyson talks about his jury duty. He takes a judge to task for calling a quantity of cocaine two thousand milligrams. Tyson, not being aware a normal cocaine dose is 150 milligrams, seems to think two grams of coke is a trivial amount.

LSD doses are measured in micrograms. A gram is a million micrograms. Does Tyson think a gram of LSD is a small dosage?

Maybe that is how Tyson managed to conflate 9-11 with the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.

George Bush and Star Names

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-HW9rB1dQO...son%2BBush.jpg

Fifty minutes into the TAM6 lecture Tyson gives an account of President Bush’s response to the 9-11.

9-11 was a very emotional time. There was a lot of anger directed at Arabs in general. Tyson has Bush responding with a speech “attempting to distinguish we from they.” Sowing division during that time of turmoil would have been reprehensible.

But Bush’s actual speech was a call for inclusion and tolerance. Bush was exactly the opposite of the xenophobic demagogue from Tyson’s fantasy world.

Moreover, Bush and his administration have repeatedly condemned anti-Muslim rhetoric. Colin Powell helped Corporal Kareem Kahn’s sacrifice to wide attention. Tyson’s shallow stereotype might fit some Republicans. But not all.

It turns out Tyson conflated Bush's 9-11 speech with his eulogy for the Space Shuttle Columbia astronauts. Bush did quote scripture in that eulogy. But he wasn't attempting to distinguish Christians from Muslims.

The Bush and Star Names fiction was part of Tyson’s routine starting in 2006, perhaps earlier. He stopped telling this story in September of 2014 after Sean Davis ran his exposé. How on earth did the self proclaimed skeptics swallow this story for eight years without question? It is because it is an unflattering portrait of a Christian president. Just like Trump’s birthers, they are happy to accept falsehoods if it supports their prejudices.

With some arm twisting Tyson admitted the story was wrong. Not only wrong time but wrong context and wrong intent. There was no Arab baiting in Bush’s eulogy for the Space Shuttle Columbia astronauts.

Hamid al Ghazali Single Handedly Ended the Islamic Golden Age

About 55 minutes into his TAM6 lecture, Tyson Blames Hamid al Ghazali for ending the Islamic Golden Age. According to Tyson, Ghazali’s writings contain the statement that manipulating numbers is the work of the devil. Which is odd since Ghazali praised the disciplines of math and science saying they are necessary for a prosperous society.

When challenged, Tyson back pedals and changes the goal posts:

Quote:
As for Al Ghazali, a more accurate representation of his views is that the manipulation of numbers was an earthly rather than a divine pursuit. And it was divine thoughts and conduct that were widely promoted -- to the exclusion of earthly conduct. Earthly conduct became associated with being anti-God, which I characterized as the devil. In later speeches (over the past year or so) I leave it as the simple split between earthly and divine pursuits, realizing that I was misleading some people by mentioning the devil at all.
I think we can safely say there is no Ghazali text containing the assertion that math is the work of the devil. Except maybe in the same fantasy world where Bush was bashing Arabs in the wake of 9-11.

Did Islamic innovation in math and science come to a dead stop with Hamid al Ghazali (1058-1111)? Absolutely not. There were Islamic mathematicians and scholars up until the 1600s. The father of symbolic algegra, Abul al-Husan, lived from 1412 to 1482. The “Golden Age” ended more when the mideast ceased to be a trading hub where diverse cultures would meet and trade ideas.

Tyson will point to the 1.3 billion Muslims presently alive and ask why aren’t they getting as many Nobel prizes as the 15 million Jewish people? It’s Ghazali’s fault! Well, the people of India also number about 1.3 billion. How many people living in India have earned a Nobel prize in science? One - C. V. Raman in Physics. Citizens of China is another group of about 1.3 billion. How many Chinese have earned Nobel prizes in science? Three. About a dozen if you include Chinese people not living in China. And both India and China have also enjoyed periods of creativity in math and science. In fact it was the Indians who invented the so called Arabic decimal system, not the Arabs as Tyson falsely claims.

So Tyson’s numbers don’t demonstrate exceptionally bad performance on the part of Muslims. Rather they demonstrate the spectacular success of people coming from Judeo Christian backgrounds. Jewish Nobel prize winners. And Christian Nobel prize winners.

Rising Religiosity is Destroying American Scientific Curiosity

About 57 minutes minutes into his TAM6 talk [url=https://youtu.be/8vfOpZD4Sm8?t=3438]Tyson shows an anti Big Bang Theory bill board as an example of Christian stupidity. He seems unaware that it was a Catholic priest, Georges Lemaître, who formulated the Big Bang theory.

Tyson often nostalgically looks back to the Apollo era. But more people were going to church when we were putting men on the moon. It is hard to make rising religiosity the scapegoat for our declining competence. Religiosity has also been on the decline.

Newton Invented Calculus On A Dare

About an hour into his TAM6 lecture, Tyson portrays Newton as a super human saying Newton invented calculus on a dare.

Well, no.

Two thousand years before Newton Eudoxus was slicing stuff into small bits to get more accurate approximations of volume and area. His methods were well known when Descartes invented analytic geometry (also known as graph paper with an x and y axis). With Descartes’ invention y=x^2 became a parabola. x^2 + y^2 = 1 became a circle with radius one. Descartes’ way of looking at things enabled us to scrutinize conic sections and other curves with symbolic algebra.

After Descartes invented analytic geometry, it was only a matter of time before someone used Eudoxus like methods to get good approximations of the slope of a curve or the area under a curve. Which was done by Fermat among others. Fermat was the father of calculus. After Fermat the discoveries of Newton were inevitable as evidenced that Leibniz made them at the same time.

Rick Stryker paints a more accurate picture -- The development of calculus was the collaborative effort of many.

After thinking he had established Newton’s super powers Tyson flatly asserts Newton could have knocked out perturbation theory in an afternoon. “You know this!” Tyson shouts to his enthusiastic audience. Well, no. I don’t. And neither does Tyson or his credulous audience.

Euler took a crack at perturbation theory and n-body mechanics. As did Lagrange. Both these men were giants in their own right but did not make satisfactory models. 100 years after Newton, Laplace built on the work of Euler, Lagrange and Newton. To say Newton could have done it in an afternoon is disrespecting Laplace, Euler and Lagrange. It is also profoundly ignorant.

In Tyson’s alternate history Newton would have easily done Laplace’s n-body work had he not been stopped by his belief in the “God of The Gaps”. Tyson states this as a flat out fact. But an alternate history is not a testable hypothesis. We can’t rewind history and see what happens with different parameters.

I’ll offer my alternate history. An agnostic Newton would have been a normal young man who spent his spare time in taverns chasing women. No splitting of light, no laws of motion, and no contributions to calculus. His accomplishments would have been zip, zero, nada. Like Tyson’s alternate history this is nothing more than idle speculation. But you won’t see me shouting the absolute certainty of this fantasy to a roomful of so called skeptics.

In Summary

On the stage of TAM6 Tyson pushed out one steaming pile after another. And his fans ate it up.

Tyson demonstrates the self proclaimed skeptics are actually credulous. The JREF folks should be deeply embarrassed.

I expect Tyson to be increasingly used as an instrument to discredit the skeptic community much like Anthony Weiner was used to discredit Democrats. He is a serious liability.

Last edited by zooterkin; 14th July 2017 at 12:18 PM. Reason: Rule 5. Do not hotlink from sites that do not explicitly permit it.
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Old 10th July 2017, 08:09 AM   #2
Chanakya
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You're dissing Neil deGrasse Tyson? Look out : you may end up having a certain god, that lurks here in this very section, at your throat soon. Tyson is that god's god. (Although that god tends not to move out of his god-cave, so perhaps your blasphemy may yet go unpunished.)
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Old 10th July 2017, 08:09 AM   #3
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TL : DR
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Old 10th July 2017, 08:15 AM   #4
applecorped
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Originally Posted by HopDavid View Post
Tyson is a B.S. artist. Not as influential as Trump but a B.S. artist regardless. Both Trump and Tyson rose to prominence on the wave of an ignorant populace that values entertainment over rigor and accuracy.

Fareed Zakaria talks about Trump as a B.S. artist. Zakaria quotes Harry Frankfort: “Focus is panoramic rather than particular... with more spacious opportunities for improvisation, color and imaginative play. This is less a matter of craft than of art. Hence the familiar notion of the ”Bull **** artist”. Later in the clip Fareed further quotes Frankfort: “Liars and truth tellers are acutely aware of facts and truth. The B.S. artist, however, has lost all connection with reality. By virture of this, bull **** is a greater enemy of truth than lies are.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson will study a topic with half his attention and then build a story around it. Which is usally entertaining but often wrong. I don’t believe it’s his intention to convey misinformatiom. It comes from combining his flamboyance with sloppy scholarship. And his fantasies are often colored by his preconceptions and prejudices.

What is telling is the acceptance of Tyson’s bull. Most of Tyso’s fans are self proclaimed skeptics. But if his misinformation seems to support their prejudices, they will swallow it without scrutiny. In their own way these self proclaimed skeptics are as credulous as Trump’s birthers.

Paying lip service to skepticism is not sufficient. A true skeptic must question all assumptions whether or not they find the message pleasing.

TAM6

The James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) used to hold an annual conference stylized as The Amazing Meeting or TAM for short. At TAM6 Tyson gave a presentation. I’ll look at different segments of this presentation.

Terminal Cancer

16 minutes 36 seconds into his presentation Tyson talks about terminal cancer. He argues surviving terminal cancer doesn’t demonstrate divine intervention. Which is fine.

But then he launches into a rant against idiot doctors, the American Medical Association and pre-med students.

The problem with this rant is Tyson’s ignorance on how a prognosis is delivered. A doctor doesn’t tell a patient “You got six months.” Rather a patient is given statistics. Does someone living longer than expected mean the three doctors were idiots? No. It demonstrates there are statistical outliers on a bell curve.

It is ... astonishing. Astonishing Tyson and the Physics 101 prof aren’t familiar with freshmen level statistics and probability. It is also astonishing that they think someone who flunked physics 101 would make it to med school. There are idiot physicists, I assure you.

Dr. Novella called Tyson out on this (scroll to Those Darn Physicists). Tyson’s response to Dr. Novella? Tyson writes:



and Tyson goes on to say:



Well, astrophysicists also resort to giving probabilities when data is incomplete. For example, the probability of asteroid impacts. Tyson likes to talk about the potential destruction of the asteroid Apophis. We can look at the history of Apophis impact estimates. In 2004 chances were in 1 in 233. In 2013 the possibility of a 2036 impact were ruled out. By Tyson’s lights the folks who came up with the 2004 estimate were incompetent idiots.

About Tyson’s TAM6 presentation Dr. Novella writes:



Except for the the part Dr. Novella didn’t like. Dr. Novella evidently wasn’t paying close attention to the rest of the lecture.

Two Thousand Milligrams of Cocaine

A little further into his TAM6 lecture Tyson talks about his jury duty. He takes a judge to task for calling a quantity of cocaine two thousand milligrams. Tyson, not being aware a normal cocaine dose is 150 milligrams, seems to think two grams of coke is a trivial amount.

LSD doses are measured in micrograms. A gram is a million micrograms. Does Tyson think a gram of LSD is a small dosage?

Maybe that is how Tyson managed to conflate 9-11 with the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.

George Bush and Star Names

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-HW9rB1dQO...son%2BBush.jpg

Fifty minutes into the TAM6 lecture Tyson gives an account of President Bush’s response to the 9-11.

9-11 was a very emotional time. There was a lot of anger directed at Arabs in general. Tyson has Bush responding with a speech “attempting to distinguish we from they.” Sowing division during that time of turmoil would have been reprehensible.

But Bush’s actual speech was a call for inclusion and tolerance. Bush was exactly the opposite of the xenophobic demagogue from Tyson’s fantasy world.

Moreover, Bush and his administration have repeatedly condemned anti-Muslim rhetoric. Colin Powell helped Corporal Kareem Kahn’s sacrifice to wide attention. Tyson’s shallow stereotype might fit some Republicans. But not all.

The Bush and Star Names fiction was part of Tyson’s routine starting in 2006, perhaps earlier. He stopped telling this story in September of 2014 after Sean Davis ran his exposé. How on earth did the self proclaimed skeptics swallow this story for eight years without question? It is because it is an unflattering portrait of a Christian president. Just like Trump’s birthers, they are happy to accept falsehoods if it supports their prejudices.

With some arm twisting Tyson admitted the story was wrong. Not only wrong time but wrong context and wrong intent. There was no Arab baiting in Bush’s eulogy for the Space Shuttle Columbia astronauts.

Hamid al Ghazali Single Handedly Ended the Islamic Golden Age

About 55 minutes into his TAM6 lecture, Tyson Blames Hamid al Ghazali for ending the Islamic Golden Age. According to Tyson, Ghazali’s writings contain the statement that manipulating numbers is the work of the devil. Which is odd since Ghazali praised the disciplines of math and science saying they are necessary for a prosperous society.

When challenged, Tyson back pedals and changes the goal posts:

Quote:
As for Al Ghazali, a more accurate representation of his views is that the manipulation of numbers was an earthly rather than a divine pursuit. And it was divine thoughts and conduct that were widely promoted -- to the exclusion of earthly conduct. Earthly conduct became associated with being anti-God, which I characterized as the devil. In later speeches (over the past year or so) I leave it as the simple split between earthly and divine pursuits, realizing that I was misleading some people by mentioning the devil at all.
I think we can safely say there is no Ghazali text containing the assertion that math is the work of the devil. Except maybe in the same fantasy world where Bush was bashing Arabs in the wake of 9-11.

Did Islamic innovation in math and science come to a dead stop with Hamid al Ghazali (1058-1111)? Absolutely not. There were Islamic mathematicians and scholars up until the 1600s. The father of symbolic algegra, Abul al-Husan, lived from 1412 to 1482. The “Golden Age” ended more when the mideast ceased to be a trading hub where diverse cultures would meet and trade ideas.

Tyson will point to the 1.3 billion Muslims presently alive and ask why aren’t they getting as many Nobel prizes as the 15 million Jewish people? It’s Ghazali’s fault! Well, the people of India also number about 1.3 billion. How many people living in India have earned a Nobel prize in science? One - C. V. Raman in Physics. Citizens of China is another group of about 1.3 billion. How many Chinese have earned Nobel prizes in science? [url”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Chinese_Nobel_laureates]Three.[/url] About a dozen if you include Chinese people not living in China. And both India and China have also enjoyed periods of creativity in math and science. In fact it was the Indians who invented the so called Arabic decimal system, not the Arabs as Tyson falsely claims.

So Tyson’s numbers don’t demonstrate exceptionally bad performance on the part of Muslims. Rather they demonstrate the spectacular success of people coming from Judeo Christian backgrounds. Jewish Nobel prize winners. And Christian Nobel prize winners.

Rising Religiosity is Destroying American Scientific Curiosity

About 57 minutes minutes into his TAM6 talk [url=”https://youtu.be/8vfOpZD4Sm8?t=3438”]Tyson shows an anti Big Bang Theory bill board as an example of Christian stupidity. He seems unaware that it was a Catholic priest, Georges Lemaître, who formulated the Big Bang theory.

Tyson often nostalgically looks back to the Apollo era. But more people were going to church when we were putting men on the moon. It is hard to make rising religiosity the scapegoat for our declining competence. Religiosity has also been on the decline.

Newton Invented Calculus On A Dare

About an hour into his TAM6 lecture, Tyson portrays Newton as a super human saying Newton invented calculus on a dare.

Well, no.

Two thousand years before Newton Eudoxus was slicing stuff into small bits to get more accurate approximations of volume and area. His methods were well known when Descartes invented analytic geometry (also known as graph paper with an x and y axis). With Descartes’ invention y=x^2 became a parabola. x^2 + y^2 = 1 became a circle with radius one. Descartes’ way of looking at things enabled us to scrutinize conic sections and other curves with symbolic algebra.

After Descartes invented analytic geometry, it was only a matter of time before someone used Eudoxus like methods to get good approximations of the slope of a curve or the area under a curve. Which was done by Fermat among others. Fermat was the father of calculus. After Fermat the discoveries of Newton were inevitable as evidenced that Leibniz made them at the same time.

Rick Stryker paints a more accurate picture -- The development of calculus was the collaborative effort of many.

After thinking he had established Newton’s super powers Tyson flatly asserts Newton could have knocked out perturbation theory in an afternoon. “You know this!” Tyson shouts to his enthusiastic audience. Well, no. I don’t. And neither does Tyson or his credulous audience.

Euler took a crack at perturbation theory and n-body mechanics. As did Lagrange. Both these men were giants in their own right but did not make satisfactory models. 100 years after Newton, Laplace built on the work of Euler, Lagrange and Newton. To say Newton could have done it in an afternoon is disrespecting Laplace, Euler and Lagrange. It is also profoundly ignorant.

In Tyson’s alternate history Newton would have easily done Laplace’s n-body work had he not been stopped by his belief in the “God of The Gaps”. Tyson states this as a flat out fact. But an alternate history is not a testable hypothesis. We can’t rewind history and see what happens with different parameters.

I’ll offer my alternate history. An agnostic Newton would have been a normal young man who spent his spare time in taverns chasing women. No splitting of light, no laws of motion, and no contributions to calculus. His accomplishments would have been zip, zero, nada. Like Tyson’s alternate history this is nothing more than idle speculation. But you won’t see me shouting the absolute certainty of this fantasy to a roomful of so called skeptics.

In Summary

On the stage of TAM6 Tyson pushed out one steaming pile after another. And his fans ate it up.

Tyson demonstrates the self proclaimed skeptics are actually credulous. The JREF folks should be deeply embarrassed.

I expect Tyson to be increasingly used as an instrument to discredit the skeptic community much like Anthony Weiner was used to discredit Democrats. He is a serious liability.

Please elaborate.
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Last edited by zooterkin; 11th July 2017 at 01:01 PM. Reason: tags
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Old 10th July 2017, 08:17 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by fagin View Post
TL : DR
Synopsis: A lot of missing the point.
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Old 10th July 2017, 08:21 AM   #6
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Thank you, I suspected as much.
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Old 10th July 2017, 08:23 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by fagin View Post
TL : DR
It's worth scanning, if you are interested in Tyson. The OP has several sections. Read only one or two if you don't have the patience to read it all.
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Old 10th July 2017, 08:27 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by applecorped View Post
...
Could you check and fix your URL and QUOTE tags? Several are broken. Thanks.
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Old 10th July 2017, 08:36 AM   #9
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I attended that TAM. Neil deGrasse Tyson was far and away the highlight of the conference. Supremely entertaining and fun. He was one of the main reasons I attended a couple of years later when he was keynote again.
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Old 10th July 2017, 08:39 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Spindrift View Post
Synopsis: A lot of missing the point.
What was the point that was missed?
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Old 10th July 2017, 08:44 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dumb All Over View Post
I attended that TAM. Neil deGrasse Tyson was far and away the highlight of the conference. Supremely entertaining and fun. He was one of the main reasons I attended a couple of years later when he was keynote again.
It didn't bother you that he was consistently hyperbolic, misleading, and wrong?
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Old 10th July 2017, 08:47 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
What was the point that was missed?
One was the whole thing about the milligrams. The point was that it made it sound like a huge amount by saying thousands of milligrams, the point was not whether or not 2 grams is a lot of coke.
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Old 10th July 2017, 08:53 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
It didn't bother you that he was consistently hyperbolic, misleading, and wrong?
I was there to have a good time with the skeptipeeps in Sin City. I won the poker tourney that year, knocking out Hokulele in the process (rawr). Tyson was icing on the cake.
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Old 10th July 2017, 08:54 AM   #14
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Did he do that one where he compares the skin of an apple to the earth's atmosphere? God, I hate that one.

Last edited by marplots; 10th July 2017 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 10th July 2017, 08:55 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by HopDavid View Post
TAM6

The James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) used to hold an annual conference stylized as The Amazing Meeting or TAM for short. At TAM6 Tyson gave a presentation. I’ll look at different segments of this presentation.
TAM6 was in 2008. Was there a reason it took you 9 years to get around to posting this? Also, FYI, this forum is no longer connected to the JREF, and hasn't been for a few years.

I saw NDG speak at TAM 9, and he was one of the best speakers there.
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Old 10th July 2017, 08:59 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Spindrift View Post
One was the whole thing about the milligrams. The point was that it made it sound like a huge amount by saying thousands of milligrams, the point was not whether or not 2 grams is a lot of coke.
It's about 13 doses. Which is a lot of coke.
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Old 10th July 2017, 09:18 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
It's about 13 doses. Which is a lot of coke.
Which, again, is not the point.

And 2 grams is probably more than one person might take in an evening, but is not a huge amount.
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Old 10th July 2017, 09:51 AM   #18
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I keep wondering what this has to do with religion. No question in my mind that Tyson is a colorful character who sometimes gets it wrong. But I don't worship him. He's not a God or even a pastor. So he is fallible? Is he a bs artist? I wouldn't say that about him Has he been wildly mistaken? Sure.

Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water. I've seen lots of scientists who know much more about science than Tyson, but who put people to sleep. Tyson is an effective communicator. I see him as an evangelist for science. We need more people like him. Correct his mistakes fine. But until you can offer better science speakers I'm going to continue enjoying Tyson's presentations on science.
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Old 10th July 2017, 10:13 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Spindrift View Post
One was the whole thing about the milligrams. The point was that it made it sound like a huge amount by saying thousands of milligrams, the point was not whether or not 2 grams is a lot of coke.
Sorry, upon rereading this, I realized I missed the point as well. My apologies.

Am I mistaken in thinking that's a rather mundane and uninteresting point to make? What were the other points that were missed? My recollection from the last time we discussed this topic is that Tyson frequently creates fake narratives to make bogus points, and frequently misunderstands or misrepresents basic science with similar results.

Citing this point as an example of Tyson getting a 'hit' seems like damning with faint praise to me.
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Old 10th July 2017, 10:14 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by fagin View Post
TL : DR
My look at TAM6 is broken into small, digestible sections.

Tyson's fans seem to have a short attention span.
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Old 10th July 2017, 10:16 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by HopDavid View Post
My look at TAM6 is broken into small, digestible sections.

Tyson's fans seem to have a short attention span.
Once you realize that they see Tyson as an entertainer, not a scientist, it makes more sense. Nobody expects Amy Schumer's sets to be bastions of critical thinking.
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Old 10th July 2017, 10:29 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by HopDavid View Post
My look at TAM6 is broken into small, digestible sections.

Tyson's fans seem to have a short attention span.
no, actually, the problem is more each one should wind up being on it's own for simplicity of discussion. Also, in all fairness, I have no interest on what any scholar more than around 500 years ago had to say about science UNLESS it was a point clearly well made and thoroughly proven in it's time. (where proven does not include disproven later).
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Old 10th July 2017, 10:32 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I keep wondering what this has to do with religion.
A big part of Tyson's TAM6 presentation was how religion shuts down innovation in math and science.

For example his making the Muslim cleric Ghazali the scape goat for ending the Islamic Golden Age.

Or blaming Newton's belief in the God of the Gaps for his failure to build the n-body mechanics which was later done by Laplace.

There is also the portrayal of Bush as an intolerant xenophobe. Which is a popular two dimensional stereotype of Christians.

I'm fine with bashing Bush as well as criticizing Christians and Muslims. But it should be fact based bashing. Tyson invents fiction to make his points. He is making himself as well as his fans objects of ridicule.

Originally Posted by Spindrift View Post
One was the whole thing about the milligrams. The point was that it made it sound like a huge amount by saying thousands of milligrams, the point was not whether or not 2 grams is a lot of coke.
Regarding the two thousand milligrams of coke, yeah it was a cheap shot. But a good lead in to my illustration of Tyson tripping daisies.
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Old 10th July 2017, 10:39 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Once you realize that they see Tyson as an entertainer, not a scientist, it makes more sense. Nobody expects Amy Schumer's sets to be bastions of critical thinking.
It's like the difference between a biblical scholar and a pastor. They are not the same thing. Am I depending on Tyson for critical information? No. But he does get me interested the curriculum. I watched him talk about Einstein and Newton and I loved every second. I understood relativity much better after that. But it certainly wasn't complete. But his presentation led me to watching more documentaries about relativity.

If he can do that with a few budding young students or impress upon parents our the society as a whole to foster more science exploration than he has done his job.
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Old 10th July 2017, 11:20 AM   #25
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What is this crap about Tyson not being a scientist? He has a Bachlors in physics from Harvard, a PhD in Asyrophysics from Columbia University, is director of the Hayden Planetarium, has obtained research grants and published detailed primary research papers based on studies using the Hubble Space Telescope, etc. Yes, he has chosen to also do something he is incredibly good at: popularizing science, an endeavor I very much appreciate because I love listening to him do it. Sure he may not be as much of an expert in, say biology, as in astrophysics, but I am a biologist and I have not heard him ever say anything I would disagree with. Certainly explaining science to the general population requires some generalizations and ignoring some details. But to suggest he is not a fine scientist in his own right is absurd.
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Old 10th July 2017, 11:24 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
What is this crap about Tyson not being a scientist? He has a Bachlors in physics from Harvard, a PhD in Asyrophysics from Columbia University, is director of the Hayden Planetarium, has obtained research grants and published detailed primary research papers based on studies using the Hubble Space Telescope, etc. Yes, he has chosen to also do something he is incredibly good at: popularizing science, an endeavor I very much appreciate because I love listening to him do it. Sure he may not be as much of an expert in, say biology, as in astrophysics, but I am a biologist and I have not heard him ever say anything I would disagree with. Certainly explaining science to the general population requires some generalizations and ignoring some details. But to suggest he is not a fine scientist in his own right is absurd.
Well said.

I've seen people say that Nye isn't a scientist either which would be closer to the truth than Tyson. But they both are scientists.
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Old 10th July 2017, 11:50 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by HopDavid View Post

Regarding the two thousand milligrams of coke, yeah it was a cheap shot. But a good lead in to my illustration of Tyson tripping daisies.
No it wasn't, it was poorly contrived.
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Old 10th July 2017, 02:47 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
Could you check and fix your URL and QUOTE tags? Several are broken. Thanks.
Yep. I wish people would PREVIEW their posts and fix broken quotes before they push the go button.

Originally Posted by HopDavid View Post
Tyson is a B.S. artist. - TL;<snipped>
I think you miss a lot by getting angry about minutiae.

When I first started watching Star Talk, I didn't like it all that much. I couldn't immediately put my finger on why, but after watching a few episodes it dawned on me that it was his sense of humour. NDGT has a quirky sense of humour. Its an acquired taste, and it definitely took me while to acquire it.

When I heard he was going to be the host/narrator of the Cosmos reboot, I was initially disappointed. I though there were others who might have done a better job (Brian Cox, Alice Roberts perhaps) but having seen the whole series, he was perfect for the job, and I now cannot imagine anyone else in that role.
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Old 10th July 2017, 03:13 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by HopDavid View Post
A big part of Tyson's TAM6 presentation was how religion shuts down innovation in math and science..
It does! Religion is an anathema to science.

Just look at number YEC loonies running around telling anyone who will listen that Noah's Flood was literally a real event and that the Earth is only 6000 years old?

Just look at what the Taliban did to the science of archaeology with the destruction of millennia old historic statues in Ghazni, Herat, Jalalabad and Kandahar... all in the name of religion

What about what ISIS did to the ancient city of Palmyra, to the monasteries at Mar Benham and Ear Elean, to Nineveh, Apamea, Mari, Dua-Europos, Khorsabad, Nimrud and Hatra. All priceless and important archaeological sites, all destroyed with explosive and bulldozers.. all done in the name of God!

Religion is a blight on humanity. Most of the world's most horrifying wars were fought in the name of religion.. we'd all be a lot better off without it.
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Old 10th July 2017, 03:32 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Did he do that one where he compares the skin of an apple to the earth's atmosphere? God, I hate that one.


I'm not sure what NDGT does, but interestingly, I did learn that the skin of an apple is proportionately similar to the earth's atmosphere. I thought that was a marvelous fact, one to tell the children and their children too.
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Old 10th July 2017, 07:02 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
It does! Religion is an anathema to science.
Eyup. Muslims and Catholic priests were stifling science when they preserved and copied books, wrote new books, built schools, universities, libraries, hospitals and observatories and taught literacy. Galileo was educated by Catholic priests and attended a university built by the pope. Without the church there would have been no Galileo. Even to this day Catholic schools are known for their academic excellence.

But you're evading the point.

I point out Tyson concocts fictions to make his arguments. Is there a Ghazali text containing the assertion that math is the work of the devil? Was Newton a super human who invented calculus on a dare? Is it a certainty Newton would've done Laplaces' work had he not believed in God? Etc.

You are not addressing any of the falsehoods swallowed by the so called skeptics at TAM6. Do try to stay on topic.
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Old 10th July 2017, 07:05 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
It does! Religion is an anathema to science....
So is that what this obsession against Tyson is all about, he challenged people's god beliefs? 'Splains a lot.
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Old 10th July 2017, 07:09 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
I think you miss a lot by getting angry about minutiae.
Concocting a fiction to falsely portray Bush as xenophobic demagogue is not minutia.

Concocting a false history of Hamid al Ghazali to make his point is not minutia.

Slamming the American Medical Association, idiot doctors and pre-med based on his ignorance of medicine is a fairly spectacular display of incompetence.

I think you miss a lot by ignoring the falsehoods of people you agree with.
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Old 10th July 2017, 07:22 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I watched him talk about Einstein and Newton and I loved every second.
When Tyson tells you Newton invented calculus on a dare, you're not better informed.

When Tyson tells you gravity falls exponentially with distance, he certainly isn't teaching you Newtonian mechanics. For orbits to follow the paths of conic sections, gravity needs to fall with inverse square of distance.

When Tyson tells you Arthur C. Clarke was the first to calculate the altitude of geosynchronous orbit, he is leading you into confusion. Herman Potočnik and Tsiolkovsky had done that when Clarke was still a child. Clarke's accomplishment was suggesting communication satellites be placed in geosynchronous orbit.

When Tyson tells you there are more transcendental numbers than irrational numbers, he is not making you smarter when it comes to math.

When Tyson tells you the Observer Effect and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle are the same thing, he is misinforming you.

By growing the IFLS crowd, I believe Tyson is making the populace even dumber.

When his following swallows obvious misinformation without question, they should not call themselves skeptics.
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Old 10th July 2017, 07:25 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
So is that what this obsession against Tyson is all about, he challenged people's god beliefs?
Errrr.... No. Your reading comprehension is dismal.
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Old 10th July 2017, 07:51 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by HopDavid View Post
When Tyson tells you Newton invented calculus on a dare, you're not better informed.

When Tyson tells you gravity falls exponentially with distance, he certainly isn't teaching you Newtonian mechanics. For orbits to follow the paths of conic sections, gravity needs to fall with inverse square of distance.

When Tyson tells you Arthur C. Clarke was the first to calculate the altitude of geosynchronous orbit, he is leading you into confusion. Herman Potočnik and Tsiolkovsky had done that when Clarke was still a child. Clarke's accomplishment was suggesting communication satellites be placed in geosynchronous orbit.

When Tyson tells you there are more transcendental numbers than irrational numbers, he is not making you smarter when it comes to math.

When Tyson tells you the Observer Effect and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle are the same thing, he is misinforming you.

By growing the IFLS crowd, I believe Tyson is making the populace even dumber.

When his following swallows obvious misinformation without question, they should not call themselves skeptics.
You really have a hardon against Tyson. I know you thinks these discrepancies matter but I assure you that they don't. I read multiple books where the authors said that Tesla invented radio and while he was a contributor, he didn't. But that doesn't mean I didn't appreciate those books.

Being a skeptic doesn't mean that I have to hold in contempt people that makes mistakes. I admire Tyson because he makes science interesting. As I said before, he's performing an important function.

Climb off the high horse.
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Old 10th July 2017, 07:53 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I know you thinks these discrepancies matter but I assure you that they don't.
Rigor and accuracy are not important. Gotcha.

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I admire Tyson because he makes science interesting.
You admire Tyson because he invents fictions to support arguments you agree with.

You are no skeptic.

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Old 10th July 2017, 08:03 PM   #38
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So Hop, Tell me how you really feel thou.

Also.

Originally Posted by HopDavid View Post
Rigor and accuracy are not important. Gotcha.



You admire Tyson because he invents fictions to support arguments you agree with.

You are no skeptic
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Old 10th July 2017, 08:26 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by HopDavid View Post
Rigor and accuracy are not important. Gotcha.

You admire Tyson because he invents fictions to support arguments you agree with.

You are no skeptic.
That's so full of crap. A skeptic means I don't take everything on face value and am open to a better argument. I don't have an opinion on Einstein or Newton or Laplace other than admiring their contributions. Tyson is funny and leads people to science. And for that I appreciate his contributions.

I'm never going to work for NASA and while I can appreciate rigor and accuracy I think there is something to be said about fun. When it comes to publishing to a scientific journal I expect the peer review process will ensure his Tyson getting it right.

Maybe someone inspired by Tyson will correct his work.

Take a chill pill. It's not like he's the President of the United States.
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Old 10th July 2017, 10:43 PM   #40
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I'm rather forgiving of a *popularizer's* mistakes, simplifications and even warping of some facts if the principal goal of inspiring the audience is realized. At several points during the episodes I did see of the Cosmos remake there were groaners. But at least 9 out of 10 in the audience would miss most or all of these. I think NGT's audience--or at least the most important part thereof--is the all too common scientifically illiterate. Getting across to them the rudiments in a way that's engaging is job number one. If that's achieved, mission accomplished! Sins forgiven.
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